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What do Utahns think about Utah Immigration Compact?


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SALT LAKE CITY -- Influential Latinos in Utah are applauding Thursday's backing from community, business and religious leaders for a new set of guiding principles on immigration called the Utah Compact, but what do Utahns think? KSL and the Deseret News asked Dan Jones to conduct a poll for us.

"Utah's immigration policies must reaffirm our global reputation as a welcoming and business-friendly state," Lane Beattie, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, said Thursday.

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The Utah Immigration Compact brought together several business, community and political leaders, including Beattie. They called for a civil and compassionate approach to legislation aimed at illegal immigration in Utah

Some Latino leaders applaud the effort, especially a statement of support from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"This is the beginning of light at the end of the tunnel. We hope that the tunnel doesn't collapse," said Archie Archuleta, chairman of the Utah Coalition of La Raza.

But what do average Utahns think? In a Dan Jones poll of 260 households for KSL and the Deseret News, when asked if they wanted an Arizona-style immigration law, 57 percent were in favor and 31 percent were opposed. "I think state agencies can certainly help with federal laws," Utahn Forest Dupre told KSL.

When we asked if their opinion has changed at all, 85 percent said they have the same opinion. However, in April of this year, when we asked the same question a larger number of people, 65 percent said they were in favor; 30 percent said they opposed it.

When asked if they agree with the premise of the Utah Compact, 64 percent said they do, which implies they may believe Arizona's law follows the same guidelines as the compact.

"If people are coming in illegally, and they're taking resources of our citizens, I don't know how you can be compassionate. That's not fair. People who pay taxes, they have a right to have the programs they need. And if other people are coming in and taking advantage of that, that's not OK," Utahn Allison Godbe said.

When asked if the LDS Church's support of the compact has changed their views, 28 percent said it made them more supportive of an Arizona-style law; 23 percent said it made them less supportive; and 42 percent said it made no difference.

E-mail: jstagg@ksl.com

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Jennifer Stagg

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